1,000 women to be nominated for peace prize

Bertha von Suttner was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905.

One thousand women are to be nominated for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for their work to end violence, war and injustice.

This content was published on September 1, 2003

Those behind the Swiss-backed initiative are drawing up a list of names to be submitted to the Nobel committee next year.

Swiss parliamentarian Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold is president of the 1,000 Women for the Nobel Prize 2005 Foundation.

She says the idea came to her while she was touring developing countries in her capacity as a member of the Council of Europe.

“I saw women working in crowded refugee camps that were involved in peace work with children, other women, men and soldiers,” Vermot-Mangold told swissinfo, “and I was so impressed by these women and their work.”

“But it made me angry that thousands and thousands of women are involved in peace work - and yet the Nobel Prize is very often given to men,” she added.

Since it was established in 1901, just ten women have won the prize.

Vermot-Mangold is due to discuss the nomination plans at a meeting with the Nobel committee next week.

Collective recognition

Vermot-Mangold’s initiative envisages that the group of 1,000 women would collectively receive the Peace Prize, an award which has until now only ever been given to an individual or organisation.

The aim of the project - partly financed by the Swiss foreign ministry and supported by the Swiss Peace Foundation - is to increase international awareness of the fact that peace is about more than treaties, ceasefires and handshakes between heads of state.

“The idea is to tell the world that peace is not a dramatic event, which one person alone can decide,” commented project coordinator, Kamla Bhasin.

“Peace requires non-stop work on a day-to-day basis. Peace is a culture and a way of being.”

Justice, the protection of human rights and access to natural resources are all elements that are included in the organisation’s concept of peace.

All walks of life

The organisation says it will nominate 1,000 female peacekeepers from around the world, to be drawn from a variety of professions.

Farmers, teachers and politicians are just a few of those expected to be shortlisted.

The committee in charge of drawing up the list will select one woman from each of 250 countries, while coordinators will help select an additional 750 women deemed to have made a significant contribution to the cause of peace.

Those who are nominated will be profiled in a series of articles and documentaries to be published by the foundation behind the initiative.


Key facts

Female Nobel Peace Prize winners:
1905 Bertha von Suttner
1931 Jane Addams
1946 Emily Greene Balch
1976 Betty Williams
1976 Mairead Corrigan
1979 Mother Teresa
1982 Alva Myrdal
1991 Aung San Suu Kyi
1992 Rigoberta Menchu Tum
1997 Jody Williams

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